Tile lifting up [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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digby janus
05-24-2006, 07:03 PM
We had a new home built 6 years ago. The builder installed Chiarelli tile over concrete. The grout is cracking and 75% ( 1200 square feet) of the tile is loose or lifting. I assume that this is not normal, and that tile is meant to be a permanent flooring solution. Our master bathroom has a different tile and has not cracked and is adhering. Is it the tile, the application? We have been given different reasons by different people. One tile company told us the tile was the problem and that the company was out of business. The sub-contractor tried to tell us it was a structural problem. The builder says the can squirt some gunk under the tile (with us paying and I think it should be his problem) but this seems to be a continuing problem as we never know what piece will lift next. Please help me with advice. Who should be responsible for this mess or is it normal? :confused:

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Madison Mike
05-24-2006, 07:29 PM
I don't have any experience with Chiarelli tile, but what's happeneing is obviously not normal. 95% of the failures that happen with tile happen because of an error in installation or planning. I have a real problem believing the tile itself casued the failure. We can try to help figger it out, but a flooring inspector on site could be key to getting your situation resolved.
When the tiles lift, is the mortar stuck to the tiles only, the slab only, a little of both?? Do the tiles just pop ar are there cracks through any of them that might indicate movementof the slab underneath?? Was there any kind of coating/sealer/anything either applied to the concrete slab before it was tiled? How old was the slab when it got tile? All these things might help us understand what's going on. You probably don't know what setting materials the installers used, but is it possible they left a partial bag with the leftover tile?

Madison, WI

05-25-2006, 03:05 AM
Sounds like tenting, it's possible that no room has been allowed for expansion around the perimeter (tile grouted up to baseboard). Large areas should also have an expansion joint, where a groutline is caulked in place of grout.

Of course answering Mike's questions would help in narrowing down the suspect.


digby janus
05-31-2006, 03:07 PM
First, let me thank you for your speedy response.
We removed one of the lifting tiles and the mortar is only stuck to the floor. The grout appears to be the only reason the tiles have stayed in place. There are no cracks in the tiles that are lifting.
The slab was about 5 months old when the tile was applied.
We have no leftover setting materials.
We are grouted up to the baseboard, but so is the master bath, which has no problems and is a different tile.
Is there any way to test the tile and the setting material?
Do you know if Chiarelli is still in business?
Again, thanks.

05-31-2006, 05:13 PM
That is (A) typical of a no expansion tenting scenario.Grout still in place,just lifting hollow tiles.The thinset will stick to the floor mostly cause that's where it was placed..around the perimeter at the cuts, it may very well be sticking to the tiles cause it was buttered.We've seen many of these.

05-31-2006, 07:06 PM
IF it is tenting due to expansion, it's pretty hard to use one room to gage another. For starters, even if all else is the same, I'm betting your master bath is quite a bit smaller than the problem room. So even if there is the same expansion rate (unlikely) the actual movement in a smaller room is much less. Just curious - does the problem room happen to get much direct sunlight? (which would cause extra warming and expansion) :scratch:

digby janus
06-05-2006, 04:42 PM
How do I tell if it was originally tented?
The tile that is lifting is continuous, encompasing multiple rooms, including our guest bath. The master bath tile is 8' by 15' with a continuous run into the toilet area.
Does anyone know if Chiarelli is still in business? If so, maybe I could get a representative to tell me what is wrong.

06-05-2006, 04:54 PM
Lay a piece of paper on the table. Push each side towards the middle...tenting. When the floor expands and there is no place to expand into (like a gap between the edge and the wall), it can push the tile up and off of the floor - tenting. That's why you shouldn't put an uncompressible substance (grout) between the edge of the tile and the walls.

If the installer grouted the tile to the edge of the wall, it was installed improperly by any standards; trying to reglue them to the floor without fixing thatproblem will likely result in them popping off again.

06-05-2006, 06:28 PM
Goggling, and research I found this. Ceramica Chiarelli S.A. did exist and was a ceramic tile company in Brazil. Their website was http://www.chiarelli.com.br/ which is no longer functioning, however parts of the website are still up such as http://www.chiarelli.com.br/ingles/main.asp. But seeing as how the main pages are down, I would venture to say that they are no longer buisness.

Also their stock is no longer traded as of september last year. Symbol CCHI3.SA, look at yahoo's two year chart for them.

Phone number listed +55 19 3891-9200, but I'm not calling it :yawn: no long distance here ;)

Therefore, I'd say yes, they are out of buisness.


08-18-2006, 07:13 AM
I am a tile contractor in the Tampa area. I have had quite a few jobs with the Chiarelli tile tent & loosen up. From what I have found is these job problems happen when the cold weather starts and expansion of the concrete happens. These job are over 1000 sf. We also don't hard grout to the wood base ( base is put on top & caulked )Most of the time it seems to be the same tile style(13x13 ) Some times the thin set is on the tile, sometimes on the slab, or both. I have also talked to other contractors that used Chiarelli and they had the same problems, using different installers and different setting materials.My conclusion is the tile is the problem, I know this does'nt help with your problem but just some insite.

08-18-2006, 07:58 AM
1sttotile, please stop by the Pro's hangout and introduce yourself. Just don't buy anything from Flatfloor. ;)

08-19-2006, 10:18 AM
Dammit Bob, I told you I'm not selling anything anymore. :mad:

Takes too much time away from my investment consulting business.

You know the old saying "There's a sucker born every minute"? It's true. :yeah: